Course Description

Course Name

English Literature: The Remix

Session: VDNS3122

Hours & Credits

18 Credit Points

Prerequisites & Language Level

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


A study of texts and authors representative of the main periods and genres in English literary history.

ENGL 121 presents major works of literature in English from medieval to recent times, focusing on transformations of one text by another. Other critical approaches will also be introduced. Chaucer, a variety of sonnet writers, Shakespeare and Austen form high points from the canonical tradition of English literature, while Stoppard brings minor characters from Hamlet to the centre of his play; McDermid updates Austen's regency romance with vampires and social media; and Carter rewrites traditional fairy tales.

Learning Outcomes
-Describe origins, history and development of sonnet form to the 20th century
-Identify sonnet form
-Demonstrate relationship between form and thought in a sonnet
-Identify imagery and infer relationship between imagery and sonnet form and thought
-Define and identify basic metres of English verse in a sonnet

-Develop the ability to read fluently and understand the language of a passage written in Middle English
-Describe and critique the means by which character can be represented
-Appreciate aspects of the social, religious, political, artistic and intellectual life of the medieval period

-Practise close reading
-Formulate tactics for dealing with earlier forms of the language
-Assess representation of characters and themes
-Conceptualise Early Modern theatre practice, focusing on embedded stage directions

-Identify aspects of Theatre of the Absurd
-Identify aspects of existentialism
-Identify intertextual elements
-Consider how the above are used to construct a dialogue with the earlier work

-Relate the history of the novel form
-Explain the marriage plot and variations
-Distinguish forms of irony: verbal, structural, dramatic
-Analyse narrative method: point of view, authorial voice, dialogue, narrative voice, coloured narrative, free indirect style

-Recall history of fairy tale
-Evaluate author's use of expository techniques
-Identify and critique intertextuality
-Identify and critique aspects of feminist theory

-Critique a model essay to determine the desirable qualities of critical essay: argument, content, expression, mechanics
-Formulate a method for writing a critical essay

Course Structure
The course considers literature as a conversation between the ages. We examine canonical texts in relation to their adaptation by other authors.

Hale, J.K. Sonnets of Four Centuries (available from the Print Shop)
Chaucer, Geoffrey. Selections from the Canterbury Tales (available from the Print Shop)
Shakespeare, William. Hamlet (Signet or Folger)
Stoppard, Tom. Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead (Faber)
Austen, Jane. Northanger Abbey (Oxford World's Classics)
McDermid, Val. Northanger Abbey (Harper Collins)
Carter, Angela. The Bloody Chamber (Vintage)

*Course content subject to change